Featured Resources

Butterflies and Moths of North America

Butterflies and Moths of North America is an interactive, searchable, and updateable web-enabled database of butterfly and moth information. Data contained therein include distribution maps, species accounts, photographs, and checklists of species by U.S. county or by Mexican state. Go directly to the web site, or learn more about this project.

blue butterflyThe Children's Butterfly Site is an educational opportunity for all ages. Investigate a butterfly's transformation during metamorphosis, browse images of species from across the globe, or print coloring book pages. Learn all about these magnificent creatures by reading answers to the extensive frequently asked questions.

What is Metadata?

metadata image

Metadata is information that describes a digital data resource such as a dataset, data layer, or map. When metadata is collected, standardized, and stored, it facilitates data use, management, and retrieval. Because there are different types of data and data uses, there are different types of metadata and metadata standards available.

The types of metadata most widely used for sharing biological data are:

  • Descriptive metadata - describes and identifies a data resource.
  • Structural metadata - describes and maps the internal structure of a data resource for its machine-readable display.

Examples of these metadata standards are provided throughout this page.

To learn more about NBII's metadata activities, please visit the NBII Metadata webpage.

Live Maps and Data

The California Information Node (CAIN) works with regional and national partners to provide access to geospatial products and data. Ongoing products include:

Find out more about the BIOS project and access biological and geographic data collected by the California Department of Fish and Game and its partner organizations, through an interactive map.
Biological Inventories PhotoBiological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas
Use this searchable database containing documented, taxonomically standardized species inventories of plants and animals reported from the world's protected areas.
Butterflies of CaliforniaButterflies of California
Learn about Art Shapiro's Butterflies of California site and find links to access 83,000 individual records of 159 butterfly species collected by Dr. Shapiro over 34 years on transects across central California.
GAP Analysis ProgramGAP Analysis Program
Find out more about the GAP Analysis Program, including projects in the California.
Informatics Research Photo Informatics Research
Learn about Informatics Research projects in and around California.
Tricolored Blackbird PhotoTricolored Blackbird
Find out more about the Tricolored Blackbird, a California Focal Bird Species.

Other California Projects

Brodea wildflowerCalflora
Discover this searchable digital library of wild California plants for use in conservation, education, research, and appreciation.
Mojave DesertCalifornia Ecoregion Browser
Identify U.S. Forest Service ecological subregions of California.
Western meadowlark California Partners in Flight Interactive Map
Query and view focal bird species breeding status maps with all study areas and detailed information for each species.
California Poppy CaprICE Plant Species Distribution Map
Examine this spatially web enabled database of plant species for California that show patterns of plant diversity, distribution ranges of individual plant species, and vegetation associations.
Arundo donaxCRISISCat
Search the California Regional Invasive Species Information System catalog for California invasive species resources.
Acanthomintha ilicifolia [Copyright: Christopher Christie]Consortium of California Herbaria Search Page
Explore the over 1.1 million records of vascular plant specimens housed in the herbaria of the 16 participating consortium institutions.
View data through the California Regional Invasive Species Information System interactive map display for weed observations in California and the Southwest.
Blue Oak Napa Vegetation Map
Download spatial data layers and view Alliance, Class, and Formation level vegetation maps for this county.

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Partner Spotlight

California Department of Fish and Game Logo

As the state trustee agency for managing diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources as well as the habitats upon which they depend, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) plays a key role in the development of the biological data and tools needed for effective conservation planning. The Biogeographic Data Branch leads the effort to provide those tools through projects like the Biogeographic Information and Observation System (BIOS), Calfish, and the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB).

Featured Herbarium Resource

CCH Logo [Image: Consortium of California Herbaria]
[Image: Consortium of California Herbaria]

The Consortium of California Herbaria was developed as a gateway to information about plant specimens housed in the herbaria of the 16 participating consortium institutions. The interface is a searchable database that focuses on providing a snapshot of California vascular plant collections in these herbaria. The Consortium's Search Page contains query fields for scientific name, geographic locality, latitude/longitude, county, geographic region, institution, collector, collection number, and date.

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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